Hi, I'm Michael...
And my life is about to change drastically...
After spending my life thus far in the US, I'm about to embark on an adventure unlike any other: moving to South Korea to teach English. Up until now, I've lived in Portland, OR, Vancouver, WA, Cleveland, OH, Palos Heights, IL, Terre Haute, IN, Falmouth and Campton, KY, and Morristown, TN.
What can I say, I like living simply... for the most part.
I finished seminary in Evanston, IL in the spring of 2014. I've done parish ministry, non-profit service, and hospital chaplaincy. I've served at Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. I've interned with a small United Methodist congregation and a now-defunct faith-based nonprofit. After a couple periods of unemployment, countless conversations, and much discernment, it's time to dive into a calling I didn't know I had until now: education.
Despite having my eyesight drastically altered by graduate school, I still love to read — anything from Harry Potter, Divergent, and the Hunger Games to various books on theology, ethics, psychology, or social justice to authors like David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, Donald Miller, and the like. Then there are my standards. The Giver. The Ender quartet. Anything by Henri Nouwen.
I'm soft but strong (no Charmin references, please). Emotional. Compassionate. Creative. Sensual. I'm goofy and a bit sarcastic. I'm a flirt. I have a temper but don't like to show it. Life is about being vulnerable and getting your hands dirty. It's about making mistakes and learning to love with abandon.
I love music, chocolate, jersey knit bedsheets, sterling silver, cheap flip-flops, mom and pop Thai restaurants. I want to go skydiving, or at least throw myself down a professional wind tunnel.
I love chick flicks - Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, Stepmom, You've Got Mail, Beaches, Terms of Endearment. If it will make me laugh and cry at the same time, I will most likely love it. Don't get me wrong, I also love plenty of action, fantasy, or science fiction. I love to have my head in the clouds just as much as I love having my feet on the ground.
I love all sorts of music, but my biggest soft spots are for Christian (old & new), Broadway, and choral. Rodgers & Hammerstein are my very good friends.
I play acoustic guitar. I enjoy taking photos. I love getting wet (unless I'm in my good clothes or heavy cotton polos). I try and stay healthy, but my relationship with whip cream is real, and it's deep - leave me alone...
I like to challenge people to think outside of their own comfort zone.
To not accept tradition as fact, but learn about their beliefs for themselves. I think religion can have it's beautiful moments, but it can also be misused against those who fail to, or choose not to conform. Before God was condemning, judgmental, wrathful, and vengeful, she was loving, intimate, relational - characteristics that span across the length of the Old Testament into the New, culminating with the Incarnation. But even more so, God tends to reveal God in ways we don't always understand or fathom - so I try to be open to new surprises.
I see a therapist. nearly Every week. Same day. Same time. I cry. I yell. I curse. I scream. I bitch and moan. I laugh and giggle and free associate. It makes me a better person.
All in all, I feel like I'm a pretty accurate representation of a human. I have my walls, and my guards, but the people in my life break away at those on a fairly regular basis. I'm ok being around a lot of people, but I also cherish my alone time, or time with those I love most dearly.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about me, feel free to contact me.
photo credit: Julia Tweedie (via Flickr)